When the draw for the group stage of the Champions League was made at the start of the season, not many would have expected AS Roma to do much to take note of. The Italian club were placed in Group C alongside Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and FK Qarabag. The Azerbaijan Premier League club were to be the whipping boys in the group, and as it turned out, they were. Given Atletico’s recent success in the Champions League and Chelsea’s strength in depth, the Spanish side and the English outfit were most followers’ favourites.
However, as it turned out, it is Roma who are going through to the last 16 stage of the Champions League as Group C winners. Eusebio Di Francesco’s side were not exactly breathtaking in the six matches, but they did their job effectively and with efficiency. The Giallorossi scored seven fewer goals than Chelsea and managed just one against Qarabag at the Stadio Olimpico in their final group game, but Eusebio Di Francesco’s outfit conceded just six goals.
Roma, though, played well in the games that mattered more. After staging a stunning comeback against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge to pick up a point in London, the Serie A outfit hammered the Blues 3-0 at home. Given the way that Di Francesco’s side stepped up their game against the defending Premier League champions, they would be a safe bet to do something similar in the knockout stages, especially for any punter wishing to take advantage of the bonuses and free bets on offers listed on websites such as Oddschecker. Roma got a favourable last-16 draw as they are the group winners, and that is only going to enhance their chances of booking a place in the quarter-finals.
Roma do have a good team. Radja Nainggolan, Juan Jesus, Kevin Strootman, Diego Perotti, Edin Dzeko, Daniele De Rossi and Stephan El Shaarawy are some of the best players in Europe, and it should not come as a surprise that they are doing so well in the Champions League. The Giallorossi are also aiming to win the Scudetto this season, and at the moment the club is wrapped in optimism and hope. Of course, a lot could change between now and February when the Champions League knockout stages begin, but Roma are a force to be reckoned with. The effective way in which they negotiated a group that had Chelsea and Atletico should make entire Europe sit up and take notice.